Jackie Nell Osborn McLeod, 83, of Bon Secour, passed away on Friday, April 5.

McLeod was well-known in the Foley area as the owner of The Gift Horse Restaurant and Antique Mall, which occupies half a city block on Laurel Avenue in downtown Foley. The business has been in operation since 1982.

McLeod decided to share her warm, filling, Southern recipes in "The Gift Horse Restaurant Cookbook," which includes some of her famous recipes such as apple cheese casserole and praline sweet potatoes.

Foley Mayor Ralph Hellmich said McLeod shared more than delightful cuisine and recipes. He said she restored old buildings in the downtown area and brought in people from all over to get a taste.

"Jackie was an iconic lady and part of our downtown for so many years," Hellmich said. "She took what used to be an old hardware store, a grocery and a skating rink, she took those buildings and refurbished them to create an iconic restaurant in the city of Foley."

After graduating from Auburn University with a bachelor's degree in Foods and Nutrition, Home, and Family Life, McLeod opened the restaurant. It quickly became a hit in town and was also the restaurant people called on to cater their weddings and special events.

The South Baldwin Republican Women still have their monthly luncheons and meetings at The Gift Horse Restaurant.

"She was always so gracious and accommodating to the South Baldwin Republican Women over the many years we have been meeting there," the group posted on Facebook. "Her legacy and southern traditions will live on through her family. She will be missed."

McLeod and her husband, Dr. Kenneth Dean McLeod, Sr., were married for 61 years and loved to travel together. She was a past Worthy Matron of the Foley Order of Eastern Star, Chapter 142.

Friends say she loved to go to the market and pick out unique pieces for her store.

The people in the close-knit community of Foley are more like a family than neighbors at times, and with her deep roots in the city limits, McLeod was well known.

"She brought southern charm to the city of Foley," said Jo Hellmich, wife of Mayor Hellmich.

"She was a sweet lady," Ralph Hellmich added.

Visitation will be on April 20, from 10 a.m. until 12 p.m., at First Baptist Church of Foley, where McLeod was a member. The funeral will follow, and McLeod will be laid to rest at Pine Rest Memorial Park Cemetery.

To connect with the author of this story or to comment, email erica.thomas@1819news.com.

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